Published: 09th September 2020
Schools can reopen from September 21: Class 9-12 students can go to school but only if they want to
Even when the students are at school, they will be required to maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet from the teacher "wherever feasible", the notice said
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday said that students of Classes 9 to 12 can start coming to school from September 21, if they want to see their teachers and get 'guidance'. The ministry released the standard protocols for reopening of schools across the country only for students from Classes 9-12 with the guardians' approval. Teachers and non-teaching staff could be asked to come to school for online teaching, tele-counselling and other related work — but the school has to run at half its strength.
The SOP for reopening the schools stated that online classes will continue and the students can choose to come when they want to see their teachers for help. "Students of Classes 9 to 12 shall be permitted to visit their school on a voluntary basis for taking guidance from their teachers. This will be subject to the written consent of their parents or guardians. Such visits and teacher-student interaction must be organised in a staggered manner," read the directive.
Even when the students are at school, they will be required to maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet from the teacher "wherever feasible". "Scheduling of activities and seating plan shall be made accordingly," added the notice. Children will not be allowed to share stationery or water bottles, mentioned the notice.
If the weather is suitable during class hours, the schools can also conduct their classes outside "keeping in view the safety and security of students and physical distancing protocols". But assemblies, sports and any cultural events are strictly prohibited as they can lead to overcrowding and thus lead to difficulties in following social distancing. "Installation and use of Aarogya Setu App may be advised wherever feasible," the notice also added.
Even when schools can reopen, the notice stated that only schools outside the containment zones shall be allowed to open. "Further, students, teachers and employees living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend the school. Students, teachers and employees shall also be advised not to visit areas falling within containment zones," it added.
Finally, the notice added that these measures need to be observed by all (teachers, employees and students) in these places at all times and that they are generic, simple public health measures to be followed in order to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.